Top Companies' Employee Recognition: 6 Key Examples

Employee recognition is a great way to show appreciation for your employees, which will result in more productivity. See how top companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon have their own employee recognition programs that can serve as a great model for other organizations.

6 Employee Recognition Examples You Should Learn From Top Companies.

When employees feel valued and know that their work is recognized, they are more likely to work harder and be engaged in the workplace. Employee recognition examples can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and motivated to be better at their positions. There are many ways to show your appreciation towards your team members. Some companies enhance their employee recognition by using monetary rewards, while others use non-monetary rewards such as certificates, promotion or even public acknowledgment.

Some companies are too rigid with their employee recognition programs, failing to consider what employees actually care about.

Read ahead to know some of the employee recognition examples taken from top companies all around the world which can help you to be an effective employer and inspire your employees to perform better.

6 Examples of How Top Companies Recognize Employees that You can Learn From.

1. Google - 'Peer Bonus' Program

 Google has a peer bonus program, in which employees can give each other financial rewards for doing something that makes their work environment better. The idea is that the reward can be used for anything, from buying snacks or taking an educational course to paying off debt or donating to charity.

"We found that when you have a structured way of recognizing your employees and giving them positive feedback, they tend to be happier and more productive," said Google's senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock. "And they're less likely to quit."

2. HubSpot - Sales Floor Recognition Program

A leader in content marketing software and services, HubSpot has a fun, interactive recognition program that rewards employees for their contributions to the company. The program is known as Salesfloor Recognition, and it's designed to recognize salespeople who go above and beyond their job descriptions by doing things like helping colleagues with projects or solving customer problems. 

Salesfloor Rewards work like this: Every week, each team member submits a nomination for someone else in their department who did something great. That person then gets points based on how many people voted for them (1 point per vote), plus an additional 10 points if they're voted top salesman/saleswoman of the week by their peers (top salesman/saleswoman gets 5 votes). At the end of each month, these points translate into prizes like gift cards or iPads being awarded via raffle tickets given out by managers at random during staff meetings each month.

Must read: 7 Important Rules (often-ignored) To Create A Positive Work Culture

3. Disney - Dream Team Awards Program

The Walt Disney Company has put together an awards program called Dream Team Awards. The award is given to employees who have shown exceptional commitment to the company during their tenure with Disney. The idea behind this program is that everyone is part of a dream team, so all members should be recognized for what they do at work.

Employees are nominated in different categories like ‘Outstanding Contribution to Quality’, ‘Outstanding Contribution to Customer Service’, ‘Outstanding Contribution to Safety’ etc. All these nominations are judged by an internal panel and winners are selected based on their merits.

4. SONIC - 'Gotcha Caught' Program

Sonic Drive-In's 'Gotcha Caught' program is a great example of employee recognition. Employees caught doing good things on the job are awarded with a free meal. The program not only rewards employees for their hard work, but keeps them motivated to continue doing what they do best. Employee recognition programs like Gotcha Caught provide an extra incentive for employees to go above and beyond their job descriptions.

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5. Starbucks: They Share the Stories of Their Employees on Social Media

Starbucks is one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world. Their employees are a big part of that success.

The coffee giant celebrated its 30th birthday by sharing stories of its employees on their website and social media accounts. They've shared everything from heartwarming tales about baristas who save lives to photos of customers who have met their soulmates at Starbucks locations around the world.

6. Airbnb: Implements a “Community Circle” Recognition System.

Airbnb has a handful of employee recognition programs that are very unique to the company, such as the "Superheroes" program. The company also has a number of other well-known programs, such as its "Belong Anywhere" campaign and its "Beyond 9 to 5" initiative.

The following are some examples of Airbnb employee recognition programs:

Superheroes. This initiative encourages employees to take on additional responsibilities outside their regular jobs and to share their learnings with others in the organization (Airbnb).

Belong Anywhere Campaign. The Belong Anywhere campaign is based on the idea that everyone should feel welcome at work, regardless of who they are or what they look like (Airbnb). The campaign includes hiring initiatives for minorities and women, as well as events such as an LGBT networking event at SXSW 2016 and an all-women panel discussion hosted by Airbnb COO Laurence Tosi called "What It Takes To Lead." It also includes internal training sessions on unconscious bias, diversity inclusion best practices and unconscious bias training videos produced by Airbnb partners at Google.



Employee recognition is a vital part of maintaining a happy and healthy workforce. Whether your organization wants to expand the reach of their recognition program or implement one for the first time, it is important to establish a clear strategy before launching. There are so many ways to show your appreciation for your staff, and it pays off in the long run. Even small gestures can help boost employee morale.

Remember that employee recognition program examples can help you get started—but taking the time to customize it to your company is the most effective way to make it happen.

Bonus: Making regular team building activities part of your work culture is one of the greatest ways to improve employee performance by creating strong teams. Partner with us to unleash the fullest potential of your team with the help of fun and engaging experiences 
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